University of Calabar Suspends Dean of Law Cyril Ndifon
Editor's note: This is a developing story.
The Management of the University of Calabar( Unical) has suspended the Dean, Faculty of Law, Prof. Cyril Ndifon for "alleged violation of the provisions of the extant laws and policies" of the institution.
The suspension is contained in a letter signed by the University Registrar, Mr. Gabriel Egbe takes effect from August 17, 2023.
Read the full statement here:
"Please refer to our letter Ref UC/REG/DISC.45A dated August 14, 2023 on your alleged violation of the provisions of the extant laws and policies of the University and your response to the said letter which was dated 16th August, 2023.
The Vice Chancellor has gone through your written representations and is not satisfied with your explanations. She has therefore directed that you should be relieved of your position as Dean, Faculty of Law and placed on suspension while the matter is refered to a panel that will be set-up to investigate these allegations.
The relief of position as Dean, Faculty of Law and suspension from official duties takes effect from August 17, 2023. You are to hand over all University property in your possession including all official responsibilities presently handled by you to the Sub-Dean of the Faculty before vacating office.
You are to stay away from the University premises except while responding to invitation from the panel investigating these allegations."
Ndifon's suspension follows protests by female students of the University of Calabar's Faculty of Law, who protested within the campus premises on Monday. Cyril Ndifon, the Dean of the faculty, had been accused of engaging in sexual harassment.
A now viral X (formerly Twitter) video showed a small group of female students singing protest songs in front of an administrative building on the university grounds. Ndifon has strongly rejected any accusations of misconduct, firmly countering the claims made by protestors. He stated that the allegations were false and intended to damage his reputation. Ndifon also claimed that certain individuals within the faculty were conspiring against him, aiming to weaken his role as Dean.
Florence Obi, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar, spoke with PREMIUM TIMES on Monday evening, saying that she had engaged with the protesting students and guaranteed them that their concerns would be examined.
Though Obi pledged that the university administration would probe the accusations against Ndifon, she stressed that the students must present evidence to substantiate their claims.
However, this is not the first time that Ndifon has been accused of sexual impropriety. Ndifon was queried on September 1, 2015, over allegations of sexually assaulting and harassing a student on Saturday, August 29, 2015.
He was suspended in 2016 following a petition by a 400-Level female Law student, who accused him of raping her in his office while she was retaking a test on Law of Trust. In 2017, the Federal High Court in Calabar granted permission to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) to continue its inquiry into the alleged rape despite attempts by Ndifon to prevent ICPC's investigation based on a police report that cleared him of sexual misconduct.
The trial judge, Justice I. E. Ekwo, dismissed the report, ruling that ICPC was well within its rights, as outlined in the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, to pursue the investigation.
Subsequently, CrossRiverWatch reported that the University of Calabar recalled Ndifon.